In the midst of the busyness of life, authors Jeff and Lora Helton say, "many couples become passive in their approach to marriage and wake up one day wondering what went wrong." In their new book, "The 50 Fridays Marriage Challenge: One Question a Week, One Incredible Marriage," the Heltons encourage couples to quit operating in default mode (without planning and intentionality), and to actively nurture their marriages so they grow and flourish.
The Heltons base their book on Psalm 90:12 which says, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." They promote a positive approach to marriage that prioritizes it and sees it as important enough to focus on growth rather than crisis management. The Heltons also promote authentic and vulnerable communication.
And that's where the 50 questions come in. After a short introduction, the book launches into 50 Fridays' worth of short readings and questions on various subjects like:
- growing in intimacy;
- developing shared hobbies;
- improving spiritual intimacy in marriage
- ways of giving and receiving love;
- becoming better listeners;
- making bucket lists;
- discussing finances; and
- remembering what brought them together in the first place.
Each Friday couples read a short chapter, a Scripture verse and an encouraging quote, and then discuss the week's question. For example, in the week focusing on intimacy, each spouse makes a list of things that keep him/her from sharing his/her thoughts, feelings, dreams and desires with the other. Then, as the couple talks through their lists, they identify ways to offer grace and understanding to each other.
At the end of the book, there are even some bonus questions for holidays like Valentine's Day, Palm Sunday, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Maybe you and your spouse have drifted apart and you're looking for a way to reconnect.
Perhaps you'd describe your marriage as good, but you'd like to make it better.
It may be your marriage is on the rocks and you're wanting to make a last ditch effort to save it.
No matter where you find yourselves in your marriage, "The 50 Fridays Marriage Challenge" will help you and your spouse prayerfully transform you marriage. If you and your spouse commit to open, honest communication through these 50 weeks of questions, your marriage is guaranteed to experience growth. Along the way, you're sure to make some memories and have some fun.
* I received a copy of the book from the publisher for this review. However, the opinions expressed in the review are my own.